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"Terrorist cells have the same group dynamics as stag parties and five-a-side football teams."
April 6, 2010 12:39 PM   Subscribe

If you look at that video of Mohammad Sidique Khan [one of the 7/7 bombers] recording a video for his nine-month-old daughter, when he thought he was going to fight and die in Afghanistan, he was saying, ‘You and your mum are the best thing in my life, and I’d love to watch you growing up and learning to speak.’ And you realise that he’s making a pretty soppy speech from a middle-of-the-road Hollywood movie. He’s the ‘good dad’. And in his head he is. And that doesn’t preclude him going out and doing something violent. You do bad things not because you think they’re bad, but because you think they’re good — unless you’re a nihilist. British satirist Chris Morris discusses his first feature film Four Lions, which is a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers. Trailer. Clip, concerning peroxide. Audio interview with Morris about the film, Part 1 and Part 2.
posted by Sticherbeast (47 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
"a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers"

Come again? I swear that said it's a comedy about Islamist suicide bombers.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 12:41 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


A comedy about Islamist suicide bombers by Chris Morris. This will be quite something.
posted by Artw at 12:43 PM on April 6, 2010


Boom Chicago did a suicide bomber sketch in Amsterdam that was actually (surprisingly) quite funny.

I'm sure the wacky tobacky had nothing to do with it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:50 PM on April 6, 2010


Boom Chicago did a suicide bomber sketch

Eponyhnevermind
posted by The Whelk at 12:52 PM on April 6, 2010


Chris Morris is shockingly smart and brave as a satirist. Brass Eye was an absolute work of fearlessness. This could be truly great.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:53 PM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


Jeff Dunham does a You-Tubeable ventriloquist act with a suicide bomber. Pretty funny.
at work, can't provide the link - sorry!
posted by bitteroldman at 12:59 PM on April 6, 2010


I've always been bothered by the steepled-fingertips, C. Montgomery Burns-style villains that turn up in most movies. I'm sure even Dick Cheney, as far as I can tell an evil motherfucker through and through, was doing "the right thing" as far as he was concerned.
posted by JaredSeth at 1:03 PM on April 6, 2010


I just watched the Paedogeddon episode of Brass Eye for the first time this weekend, and I must say, although the dude's shows can be a little hit or miss, when he's on, he fucking on. I'm looking forward to seeing this!
posted by Greg Nog at 1:03 PM on April 6, 2010


Jeff Dunham does a You-Tubeable ventriloquist act with a suicide bomber. Pretty funny.

I believe you're talking about Achmed the Dead Terrorist, as wikipedia currently puts it, "the skeletal corpse of an incompetent suicide bomber." With that premise, the skits write themselves.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:04 PM on April 6, 2010


I'm sure even Dick Cheney, as far as I can tell an evil motherfucker through and through, was doing "the right thing" something that would make him an inhuman amount of money, as far as he was concerned.
posted by The Whelk at 1:05 PM on April 6, 2010


Jeff Dunham does a You-Tubeable ventriloquist act with a suicide bomber. Pretty funny.

The words "Jeff Dunham" and "funny" don't belong together in the same universe, much less the same sentence.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:05 PM on April 6, 2010 [16 favorites]


Morris is the funniest man alive and I have to see this.
posted by Damn That Television at 1:08 PM on April 6, 2010


I met a bloke who had been in the BNP and used to beat up Asian kids. Then he decided to get more sophisticated and mess with their minds. So he bought a copy of the Koran and accidentally converted himself.

I don't know about you, but that's about the funniest goddamn thing I've heard so far this week. He ACCIDENTALLY CONVERTED HIMSELF. He should have made the whole movie just about this dude.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:09 PM on April 6, 2010 [6 favorites]


there is just so much to think about regarding this...

I watched the trailer/clip, yes, there is some funny stuff there, no doubt about it...

but... there are just so many "buts" about the whole concept.

Let's, to begin with, connect the whole Islamic Terrorist concept with sometime less general, how about 9/11 as an obvious event.

Now, lets look at some other events in history with import and tragedy.. say, JFK's shooting, MLK's shooting, My Lai...Korean War you get the picture... How long do we wait before we can produce the SNL version of "Book Depository Out-takes", or the 3-D version of "My Lai and the StarTrek Intervention"? Probably too soon, eh, and it's been in the area of 30 to 40 years since these events.

On the other hand, we have done "Hogan's Heros", "MASH", "McHale's Navy"... MASH followed the war in Korea by about 15-20 years, Hogan's Heros and McHale's Navy were '65 and '62, following WWII by 17 to 19 years... If you think about it, these followed the events pretty quickly, I think they were only acceptable due to the affluent lifestyle that seemed to follow/result from the end of WWII.

I think we're a bit early for this...We've not turned the corner regarding some much older events, and we certainly haven't reached any resolutions and found peace with the ongoing terrorism... there should be some guilt behind the laughter as we watch it....too much unresolved, too much fear.

The question becomes, what impact does this have on today's events, and what responsibility does the film-maker have?

I don't have the answers...
posted by HuronBob at 1:11 PM on April 6, 2010


Jeff Dunham's material is frequently racist. Even worse, it isn't funny.
posted by Babblesort at 1:11 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Channel 4 was too scared to fund Morris' project, but luckily Warp Films (of the record label) was brave enough to take on the production risk. If I remember rightly, to help raise cash, if you committed some amount, say £20 or something, you could be an extra in the film. I'd have done this except that I don't live in the UK.

This being Chris Morris' work it is bound to be sharp as it is funny. He has little patience for idiots. From reading and listening to interviews, he also took great pains to research the material and work with imams to get the subtle cultural details right. Here's a podcast he did a few months ago that was a good interview about the nature of politically-themed dark comedy, about the internal dynamics of terror cells, and how to make a comedy that highlights how ridiculous it all is.

Can't wait to see it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2010


I think we're a bit early for this..

Most of Morris's other satire has been about current events, so I think he'd be likely to say the opposite: that it's vitally important to examine historical events as thoroughly and quickly as we can, not to wait decades until we reach some general consensus about when they'll no longer offend.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:15 PM on April 6, 2010 [8 favorites]


but why the biggest link I've seen yet on an FPP?
posted by infini at 1:20 PM on April 6, 2010


"it's vitally important to examine historical events as thoroughly and quickly as we can"...

It's not like this guy is Howard Zinn... He's not doing a thoughtful consideration of facts and leading us to insightful decisions on future actions...he's capitalizing on tragedy and making fun of a religion....

I'm jumping out of this one..ya'll have fun!
posted by HuronBob at 1:20 PM on April 6, 2010


MASH followed the war in Korea by about 15-20 years

Hmm... MASH was *set* in Korea, but was really more about Vietnam, wasn't it?
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on April 6, 2010


MASH followed the war in Korea by about 15-20 years, Hogan's Heros and McHale's Navy were '65 and '62, following WWII by 17 to 19 years...

I wish Spy Magazine had lived long enough to go online. Back in the 80's they ran an article about the rapid depletion of America's reserves of retro. The Romans had the Greeks, the Middle Ages had the Romans, the 90's had the 60's and 2010 has 2001.
posted by GuyZero at 1:21 PM on April 6, 2010 [4 favorites]


he's capitalizing on tragedy and making fun of a religion

Terrorism is a religion?
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:25 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


He's not doing a thoughtful consideration of facts and leading us to insightful decisions on future actions...he's capitalizing on tragedy and making fun of a religion....

It seems like you don't know too much about this film, how it was made, or who it is being made by.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:26 PM on April 6, 2010 [11 favorites]


There's not really much point in making satire about things no-one cares about any more.

Much less if the reason not to make it is to avoid offence.

Chris Morris makes me uneasy - he hits extremely uncomfortable territory, but he's not ham-fisted, nor ignorant. The crudeness is calculated. I'll be watching this as soon as possible. I guess at some point he'll cross the line that he's spent his life dancing on, or mellow out, but I'd guess that he's still at his usual spot right now.
posted by Wrinkled Stumpskin at 1:30 PM on April 6, 2010


How long do we wait before we can produce the SNL version of "Book Depository Out-takes"

You've never heard comedic reference to the JFK assassination?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:37 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was skeptical until I saw the trailer. Suicide bombers singing "Dancing in the Moonlight" is some funny shit.
posted by afx237vi at 1:38 PM on April 6, 2010


he's capitalizing on tragedy and making fun of a religion

Hmm...

Later, during a post-screening Q&A, he asks the audience: “I’d like to hear from someone here who actually thinks I am mocking Islam with this film.” He was greeted with silence.
posted by Artw at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


MASH was *set* in Korea, but was really more about Vietnam, wasn't it?

Yep. From David Halberstam's The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War (p. 4):
Ostensibly about Korea, the film was really about Vietnam, and came out in 1970, at the high-water mark of popular protest against that war...As such Korea was a cover from the start for a movie about Vietnam; director Altman and the screenwriter, Ring Lardner, Jr., were focused on Vietnam but thought it was too sensitive a subject to be treated irreverently. Notably, the men and officers in the film wear the shaggy haircuts of the Vietnam years, not the crew cuts of the Korean era.
According to Altman, "That was my intention entirely. If you look at that film, there’s no mention of what war it is." (Which isn't 100% true.)
posted by kirkaracha at 1:42 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I worship Chris Morris and have been on tippy-toes waiting for this movie for a long time. If anyone can make this premise work, it is him.
posted by Falconetti at 1:45 PM on April 6, 2010


I love Chris Morris. I want to have his pockmarked reclusive babies.

The other semi-exciting Chris Morris news is the publication of this biography. My understanding is that it doesn't go up through the production of FOUR LIONS though.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 1:49 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If anyone's wondering what the fuss is about, virtually everything Chris Morris has done is available on youtube, including the radio news show ON THE HOUR, the tv news program THE DAY TODAY (my favorite) and the dateline-ish prime time "issues" series BRASSEYE.
posted by moxiedoll at 1:50 PM on April 6, 2010


Ostensibly about Korea, the film was really about Vietnam, and came out in 1970, at the high-water mark of popular protest against that war.

Isn't that why they had that title song? I can still hear it in my head. Love M*A*S*H, can watch hawkeye in rerun after rerun ;p
posted by infini at 1:51 PM on April 6, 2010


Jeff Dunham

Is he the puppet with Carlos Mencia's hand up his ass?
posted by kid ichorous at 1:52 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we're a bit early for this..

A bit slow to the chase, if you ask me.

Aussie satirists The Chaser gatecrash the APEC summit, one dressed as Osama bin Laden.

Filming the Harbour Bridge.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:52 PM on April 6, 2010


I love it when he does American stuff... "GUNISHMENT, not PUNISHMENT". Sorry guys, that's exactly what your media looks like to us.

(Oh, and the rapper Fur-Q...)
posted by Artw at 1:53 PM on April 6, 2010


"MASH was *set* in Korea, but was really more about Vietnam, wasn't it?"

Holy crap, I *just* realized that I had always just assumed it was set in Vietnam. I've seen episodes before, but never followed it very closely... I never picked up that it was actually in Korea.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2010


I wish Spy Magazine had lived long enough to go online. Back in the 80's they ran an article about the rapid depletion of America's reserves of retro. The Romans had the Greeks, the Middle Ages had the Romans, the 90's had the 60's and 2010 has 2001.

I think that was said upthread, five minutes ago, and it was funnier the first time.
posted by sebastienbailard at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2010


I heard about this a while ago and have been looking forward to seeing it a great deal. Now I find out it's co-written by Jesse Armstrong & Sam Bain (of Peep Show fame). I think I need to lie down.
posted by him at 2:04 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


For years this totally encapsulated the view of America from across the pond (even down to the weird colour cast because of the differences in television output).
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:23 PM on April 6, 2010


Also, back in the day, Chris Morris was doing IRA terrorists as well.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 2:25 PM on April 6, 2010


Too soon? Feh. Paul Krassner had Lyndon Johnson fucking JFK's corpse in the bullet wound four years after the assassination.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 2:26 PM on April 6, 2010 [2 favorites]


How can you play football with only five people?
posted by gottabefunky at 2:29 PM on April 6, 2010


Oh, Hi! Are you the boz boz? Ah, good! Do you have any yellow bentines, or triple sub, or if not any clarky cat?

It has to be good though, as i don't want to end up like a piano dentist, or even worse go all blutie and take a quack candle and my arms to feel like a coupe of fortnights in a bad ballon.

You aren't holding any clarky cat? Then give me a TB of brown and a teenth of cake.
posted by metaxa at 2:30 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


Douglas Adams -- always ahead of his times -- has been making fun of suicide bombers decades ago:

SET CONSISTS OF A BENCH IN A BRIEFING ROOM ON WHICH SITS ONE KAMIKAZE PILOT WITH HIS GEAR AND HEADBAND ON. ON THE BENCH ARE LAID OUT THE HEADBANDS OF MANY OTHER PRESUMABLY DECEASED KAMIKAZE PILOTS. A COMMANDER STANDS TO ADDRESS THE 'MEETING'.

COMM: Now, you all know the purpose of this mission. It is a kamikaze mission. Your sacred task is to destroy the ships of the American fleet in the Pacific. This will involve the deaths of each and everyone of you. Including you.

PILOT: Me sir?

COMM: Yes you. You are a kamikaze pilot?

PILOT: Yes sir.

COMM: What are you?

PILOT: A kamikaze pilot sir.

COMM: And what is your function as a kamikaze pilot?

PILOT: To lay down my life for the Emperor sir!

COMM: How many missions have you flown on?

PILOT: Nineteen sir.

COMM: Yes, I have the reports on your previous missions here. (FLIPS THROUGH EACH ONE.) Let's see. Couldn't find target, couldn't find target, got lost, couldn't find target, forgot to take headband, couldn't find target, couldn't find target, headband slipped over eyes, couldn't find target, came back with headache...

PILOT: Headband too tight sir.

...

(rest of the sketch)
posted by sour cream at 2:35 PM on April 6, 2010 [5 favorites]


Morris has lost his timing a bit - Nathan Barley (which I liked a lot) took the piss out of a very particular type of Shoreditch twat at least five years after they first surfaced, and now Four Lions comes out five years after the London bombings. Imagine watching that trailer a few months after 7/7. Too soon? Too late, more like. Still, film is slow compared to telly, and it's Morris, so it will be seriously funny.

Also, it looks like the film shares a premise, and perhaps the odd gag, with Monkey Dust's Omar, Abdul and Shafiq of the The International Revolutionary Jihad for the Liberation of the Islamic Republic of Great Britain (though Monkey Dust was very much post-Morris/Iannucci/Baynham et al, so fair enough).
posted by a little headband I put around my throat at 4:56 PM on April 6, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you want a serious drama about suicide bombers, then Paradise Now is your bag.
posted by dhartung at 9:31 PM on April 6, 2010


I think this is a really important film. Too few people try to understand where suicide bombers/neo-conservatives arre coming from.
Should be funny too.
posted by greytape at 1:44 PM on April 7, 2010


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